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Just Wingin' It: 8 Delicious Wings Spots in #RealColumbiaSC
Posted on July 26, 2017 at 7:50AM by Holly Heaton
Chicken wings, buffalo wings or hot wings? Maybe you keep it simple with just "wings." But, as Shakespeare would say, what's in a name? That which we call a chicken wing, by any other name, would ...
15 Salads You Have To Eat This Summer In #RealColumbiaSC
Posted on July 14, 2017 at 10:56AM by Holly Heaton
In the summer heat, a crisp salad bursting with flavor is the ultimate refreshing meal. With access to an abundance of fresh and vibrant South Carolina produce, Columbia chefs are serving up ...
Here's How To Celebrate The 4th Of July In Columbia SC
Posted on June 28, 2017 at 2:51PM by Holly Heaton
  Photo by: John A. Carlos II  Burgers on the grill, boats in the water and fireworks flying through the southern air...it's almost 4th of July weekend, y'all. Don't stress over ...
What's Hot This July
Posted on June 27, 2017 at 6:49AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Bask in the glory of summer this month. Fill up those extra hours of daylight with festivities, outdoor events, concerts and more. Read on for a roundup of things to do all month long ...
5 Places to Celebrate National Doughnut Day in Columbia SC
Posted on June 2, 2017 at 6:16AM by Columbia, South Carolina
Everyone loves doughnuts - it's a fact. We've rounded up five local spots with unforgettable sweet-and-stickies, so you can indulge the #RealColumbiaSC way. Oh, and you should definitely hit all five ...
What's Hot This June
Posted on May 19, 2017 at 8:11AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Summer is on its way and that means there's more time to experience Columbia, SC through a line-up of seasonal events, concerts, exhibits and more! Keep reading for a roundup of things to ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Lee Snelgrove with One Columbia for Arts and History
Posted on May 11, 2017 at 7:43AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Get to know the man who's worked hard to bring a lot more color and creativity to Columbia SC - Lee Snelgrove with One Columbia for Arts and History!       Lee Snelgrove ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Abby Naas with the Columbia Fireflies
Posted on May 9, 2017 at 10:32AM by Dayna Cantelmi
A somewhat newer face in the Columbia community, Abby Naas and the Columbia Fireflies with whom she works have already made quite the impact on our region. Find out just what it is that ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Chef Mike Davis with Terra
Posted on May 9, 2017 at 9:42AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Today, check in with Chef Mike Davis from Terra for all of his insider tips on Columbia SC!       Chef Mike Davis, owner of Terra in West Columbia, is a ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Rita Patel with Hotel Trundle
Posted on May 8, 2017 at 1:20PM by Dayna Cantelmi
Thanks for tuning in yesterday and getting to know Trae Judy with Music Farm Columbia a little better! Now, find out how Rita Patel with Hotel Trundle has impacted our ...
Columbia SC's Faces of Travel: Trae Judy with Music Farm
Posted on May 8, 2017 at 7:00AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Get to know some of the movers and shakers in our community who make the tourism industry in Columbia warm, welcoming and thriving. Stay tuned this week as we get to know some of Columbia's Faces of ...

Modjeska Monteith Simkins House

  • 2025 Marion Street
  • Columbia, SC 29201
  • Phone: 803-252-1770
  • Visit Website

The second home of the social activist and community leader who died at the age of 92. She was a founding member and secretary for the South Carolina Conference of NAACP chapters and an unflinching challenger of the social order during this country's period of segregation.

Modjeska Monteith Simkins was an important leader of African-American public health reform, social reform and the civil rights movement in South Carolina. Born in Columbia, Simkins attended elementary school, high school, and Benedict College and received a bachelor of arts degree in 1921. The same year, she began teaching at Booker T. Washington High School. Because public schools in Columbia did not allow married women to teach, she was asked to resign when she married Andrew Simkins in 1929.

In 1931, Simkins entered the field of public health as the Director of Negro Work for the South Carolina Anti-Tuberculosis Association, and became the state's only full-time, statewide African-American public health worker. For decades prior to the 1930s, southern racism and poverty had created an alarming increase in deaths among African Americans due to tuberculosis, pellagra, and other illnesses. By creating alliances with influential white and African-American groups and raising funds, Simkins made a substantial impact on the health of African Americans in South Carolina. It was during this period in Simkin's life that she and her family moved to 2025 Marion Street. Simkins used this late 19th/early 20th-century vernacular house as her residence, office, meeting place, and for lodging of civil rights associates. Simkins' guests included Thurgood Marshall, who stayed here when hotels in the city were closed to African Americans.

In 1942 Simkins lost her position with the Anti-Tuberculosis Association--partly due to her increasing involvement with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1939, when the South Carolina NAACP was formed, Simkins was already a member of the executive board of the local Columbia NAACP branch and chair of its program committee. Simkins became one of the founders of the state conference, elected to the first executive board, and the first chair of the state programs committee. In 1941 she was elected Secretary of the state conference--the only woman to serve as an officer. During her tenure as Secretary (1941-1957), her work helped the State move towards racial equality. From 1943 to 1945 she was instrumental in gaining teacher approval and support for teacher equalization lawsuits in Sumter and Columbia, South Carolina. Perhaps her most significant work took place in 1950 with the South Carolina federal court case of Briggs v. Elliott. Working with the Reverend J. A. DeLaine, president of the Clarendon County NAACP, Simkins helped write the declaration for the school lawsuit that asked for the equalization of Clarendon County black and white schools. The Clarendon County case was eventually reworked to become one of several individual cases set up to directly challenge the “separate but equal” doctrine in the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka in 1954. Because her activism was at times controversial, her life and home became targets. An unknown person shot at her house during the time she was active with the NAACP, and she was accused of subversive activities and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Simkins was able to serve in leadership positions that were traditionally unavailable to women in the civil rights movement. In 1981 she was honored by a coalition of civil rights groups, who established an endowment in her name to provide income for activists working for the causes of the underprivileged. Hundreds of people attended a memorial service following her death on April 5, 1992, and Judge Matthew J. Perry stated, “she probably will be remembered as a woman who challenged everyone. She challenged the white political leadership of the state to do what was fair and equitable among all people and she challenged black citizens to stand up and demand their rightful place in the state and the nation.”

The Modjeska Monteith Simkins House is located at 2025 Marion St., Columbia, South Carolina. The Collaborative for Community Trust, a non-profit organization in Columbia dedicated to addressing issues of social change, has recently stabilized the house, turned it into the organization’s headquarters and is establishing a center there dedicated to Simkins and her work. For more information call 803-748-8644. Additionally, the Simkins Papers have been microfilmed by the University of South Carolina and scholars wishing to study the collection may borrow the film through their local library via interlibrary loan.

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